The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, April 8, 1806

Clark, April 8, 1806

Tuesday April 8th 1806

This morning about day light I heard a Considerable roreing like wind at a distance and in the Course of a Short time ways rose very high which appeared to come across the river and in the Course of an hour became So high that we were obliged to unload the canoes, at 7 oClock A.M. the winds Suelded and blew So hard and raised the Waves So emensely high from the N. E and tossed our Canoes against the Shore in Such a manner as to render it necessary to haul them up on the bank. finding from the appearance of the winds that it is probable that we may be detained all day, we Sent out Drewyer, Shannon Colter & Collins to hunt with derections to return if the Wind Should lul, if not to Continue the hunt all day except they killed Elk or bear Sooner &c. we had the dried meat which was cured at our last encampment below exposed to the Sun. John Shields Cut out my Small rifle & brought hir to Shoot very well. the party ows much to the injenuity of this man, by whome their guns are repared when they get out of order which is very often.

I observed an Indian Woman who visited us yesterday blind of an eye, and a man who was nearly blind of both eyes. the loss of Sight I have observed to be more Common among all the nations inhabiting this river than among any people I ever observed. they have almost invariably Sore eyes at all Stages of life. the loss of an eye is very Common among them; blindness in persons of middle age is by no means uncommon, and it is almost invariably a concammitant of old age. I Know not to what cause to attribute this prevalent deficientcy of the eye except it be their exposure to the reflection of the Sun on the water to which they are constantly exposed in the Occupation of fishing. about 1 P M Collins Shannon and Colter returned. Collins Saw 2 bear but could not get a Shot at them. neither Shannon nor Colter Saw any thing worth Shooting. Soon after Drewyer returned haveing only a Summer Duck. the Elk is gorn to the mountains as the hunters Suppose. in the evening late an old man his Son & Grand Son and their Wives &c. Came down dureing the time the waves raged with great fury. the wife of the Grand Son is a woman of differant appearance from any we have Seen on this river, she has a very round head and pierceing black eyes. Soon after those people arived the Old man was detected in Stealing a Spoon and he was ordered away, at about 200 yards below our Camp they built themselves a fire and did not return to our fires after-. The Wind Continued violently hard all day, and threw our Canoes with Such force against the Shore that one of them Split before we Could get it out.